USAID announces $12 million support for the prevention of cervical cancer in sub-saharan Africa

  • Written by  Herdrine Katche

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine will dedicate $12 million to support the prevention of cervical cancer in the Republics of Malawi and Mozambique through integrated programs to improve women’s health.

The objective of the partnership is to reduce cervical cancer in Malawi and Mozambique by providing funding and expertise to help programmes effectively reach set goals. USAID intends to collaborate with, and advance existing activities through strategic partnerships. The funding will rolled out through the following partnerships:

Accelerating the introduction of a screen-and-treat strategy for HOV and cervical pre-cancerous lesions in the Republic of Malawi. A consortium between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Malawi College of Medicine will also evaluate the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of integrating testing for HPV and thermocoagulation treatment, for cervical pre-cancerous lesions with voluntary family planning at static and community-based sites.

Evaluating innovative technologies and approaches to addressing cervical cancer in the Republic of Mozambique. A consortium between the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo will integrate existing screening and treatment technologies with voluntary family planning programs while testing the feasibility and efficacy of innovative diagnostic tests for HPV.

This is the first time USAID has funded programs to prevent cervical cancer in the context of broader women’s health, other than under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). These new programs in Malawi and Mozambique will coordinate closely with PEPFAR investments in both countries.

Cervical cancer is an outcome of infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). It has become one of the largest killers of women in the developing world. 283,000 women die of the disease each year in low and middle-income nations.

Malawi and Mozambique have the highest and second-highest cases of cervical cancer in the world.

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